Range Rover and Range Rover Sport hybrid models | Frankfurt Motor Show 2013

Land Rover has launched the world’s first turbodiesel hybrid in the luxury 4x4 class at the Frankfurt Motor Show with new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport variants.

Both use the same parallel hybrid system, based upon Land Rover’s existing 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel/eight-speed automatic transmission drivetrain.

A 35kW/170Nm electric motor/generator, 1.76kWh/266 volt water-cooled lithium-ion battery and inverter, with a total weight of 120kg, work with the engine for a combined system output of 250kW and 700Nm -- the same numbers generated by the 4.4-litre V8 turbodiesel fitted to Range Rover’s current SDV8. The hybrid’s claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds also matches the V8.

It’s no contest in the efficiency or emissions stakes, though. The hybrid returns 6.4L/100km with CO2 emissions of 169gkm. The V8 averages 8.7L/100km and 229gkm.

Range Rover’s signature off road ability is unaffected in hybrid form. The hybrids have the same 900mm fording depth capability and ground clearance as other big Range Rovers; they also retain a dual-range transfer case and the Terrain Response adjustable off-road traction control system. Boot space is uncompromised, you still get seven seats in the Sport and a full size spare in all variants.

You can switch to electric-only mode (in high range only), which allows the Rangie to silently stealth through traffic at up to 48km/h for 1.6 kilometres on battery power alone.

On an all too brief drive of just a few kilometres around Frankfurt’s streets we averaged 12.8L/100km. You could do better than that once you had the knack of tapping the car’s regenerative braking and riding its EV capability to the max, but forget hitting the official 6.4L/100km figure on a regular basis. It’s not going to happen when this drivetrain is still pushing 2.4-2.5 tonnes around.

The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport hybrids arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2014.

Come 2020 there will also be much lighter, plug-in Range Rover hybrids, using up to 70 percent recycled aluminium construction.

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